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Underage Booze Sting Targets Delivery App Drivers

Also: Beloved hofbrau Tommy’s Joynt reopens, and more news to know today

Bottle cocktail from Pacific Cocktail Haven
Delivery drivers must card customers for takeout cocktails like this one from Pacific Cocktail Haven, or face hefty fines.
Pacific Cocktail Haven

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your midday roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • 214 delivery app drivers have been cited across California for failing to card cocktail-ordering customers, ABC 7 reports. According to the California Alcoholic Beverage Control, delivery drivers for apps like Doordash, Postmates, and Grubhub face misdemeanor charges and fines from $250 to $1,000 if they deliver booze from a restaurant to a minor. Restaurants face disciplinary action, too, but delivery apps don’t face any consequences, as “We don’t license the delivery services,” an ABC spokesperson says. “If we did they would be the ones held responsible but they don’t have an alcoholic beverage license to sell.”
  • Superfans of billionaire Tweeter Elon Musk and his locally-made line of cars rushed to buy “Tesla Tequila” Thursday, a $250, lightning-bolt-shaped bottle of spirits from SoCal-based Nosotros Tequila. Even though orders were limited to two bottles per person, the booze had sold out by day’s end, CNN reports. According to Tesla’s website, the French oak barrel-aged beverage will start shipping out some time in “late 2020.”
  • The rumors that Tommy’s Joynt has shuttered are officially debunked, as the restaurant officially reopened on Thursday. KTVU reports that the beloved hofbrau welcomed diners indoors, with manager Eddie Martin telling patrons “make sure your mask is on. Otherwise, the waiter won’t come to you.”
  • When the pandemic hit, California fast-casual chain the Melt guaranteed paychecks for all its workers, whether they could work or not. The SF Business Times reports that as the shutdown continued and money started to run out, its management bet big on meals for first responders and healthcare workers, a program that buoyed sales so much that the company is now planning to expand.
  • Berkeleyside has a great breakdown of the economics for restaurants that use delivery apps. For someone who orders delivery from barbecue spot Smoke Berkeley, a $44 order runs about $65.36 after delivery fees and a driver tip. Of that, Smoke will only keep $35.20, making its profit margin slim-to-none.
  • The World’s 50 Best organization postponed its annual restaurant rankings this year, but it did announce its list of bars. The highest-ranking Bay Area watering hole is Pacific Cocktail Haven at number 74 and Trick Dog at the 77th spot. You can see the whole list here.
  • Concord-based alcohol superstore chain BevMo was just sold for $350 million to goPuff, a Philadelphia food and convenience store delivery company. [SF Business Times]
  • Bay Area restaurant workers worry that as temperatures get colder and outdoor dining crowds shrink, they might lose their jobs yet again. [SF Chronicle]

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